Narcissists are very manipulative. They project their faults onto their victims when confronted about their bad behavior. They criticize anything & everything about the victim, destroying their self esteem, until only an empty shell of a person exists. They gaslight. They go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde on a moment’s notice to prevent those they want to impress from seeing their dark side.
There are some other, very subtle behaviors narcissists do to abuse as well. This article will discuss some of those behaviors that may have slipped by you unnoticed.
Taking on too much control in a relationship. Whether it’s a romantic partner or a parent, having no say or control can destroy one’s self esteem. For example, if you grew up with an engulfing narcissistic mother, she probably didn’t allow you to do much because she claimed you couldn’t do anything right. This easily can lead to feeling extremely insecure as an adult, because somewhere inside, you don’t believe you can do anything right. Or, for example, if the new person you’re dating insists on driving every time you two go out, over time, this can lead to you feeling anxious about your driving skills. Especially if you grew up with a narcissistic parent or two & have fragile self esteem to start with. My ex husband did this to me along with severely criticizing my driving, & as a result, I’m a very anxious driver.
Questioning everything. Naturally, there are going to be times you give wrong information & need correction. No one is perfect. But, if your narcissistic parent or partner questions & corrects everything about you, then this is designed to keep you off balance & feeling insecure. Basically, it’s like telling you that you’re stupid, & the other person knows better. It worked for Satan in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (NIV)
Blaming you. For what? Everything. In 2014, I had a bit of a rough patch. While splitting firewood, my husband accidentally dropped a large log on my big toe, which I’m pretty sure broke it. About a week after, I picked up a plastic bag. As I picked it up, it gave & a new can of Lysol landed on the same foot, near the broke toe. Shortly after, something else heavy landed on the same foot, although I forget what it was now. When I told my mother about this, she told me it was all my fault- I should be more careful. Blame for things that aren’t your fault can create a feeling of shame inside. You begin to think you should’ve known better, or done something differently. How could you be so stupid as to do whatever you did?! Blaming creates a nasty internal dialog.